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FTTH Council tells UK you need to have FTTH now
Friday 04 May 2012 13:39:57 by Andrew Ferguson

The UK spent most of 2006 to 2010 increasing competition and unbundling connections, so that companies like Sky and TalkTalk could then bundle consumers into double and triple-play solutions. This decision to focus on competition and not development of new technologies are perhaps at the core of why the FTTH Council is stating the UK is behind Europe on the implementation of FTTH.

Anyone who has attended various Digital Britain seminars will know there is an atmosphere, of 'please lets talk about the technology specifics' far too often the detail is avoided and thus we end up where we are with a solution being deployed around the UK that makes economic sense if you want to spend the minimal amount of money now.

All is not lost though as the UK does have Virgin Media providing speeds that match FTTH if you are willing to subscribe to the fastest product, and the local node is not congested. Then there are people like Hyperoptic, IFNL and CityFibre, though we are still unsure how many of the 25,000 homes in Bournemouth actually have internet access over the fibre network there since the first 30 connections were announced three years ago. Openreach is doing some FTTP, though exact figures are not known, perhaps 10 to 15% of UK homes, and has started looking at fibre-only exchanges.

Ambition has never figured heavily in UK Broadband, we get a spark every few years, but then the bean counters water things down. A big unanswered question, is whether services abroad are actually that much better in the real world, rather than what speakers at conferences say.


Posted by GMAN99 over 5 years ago
Its ok for the FTTH Council to say it, but where does the money come from?
Posted by billford over 5 years ago
@GMAN99- from economic pricing of the product. You get what you pay for.
Posted by GMAN99 over 5 years ago
Well from next year people will be able to buy FTTP wherever FTTC exists, so we'll let the people decide if they need it "now". Its a very safe bet that take up for FTTP on demand will be very low for many years.
Posted by billford over 5 years ago
It's not a matter of "now", it's a matter of price.

Cheap, fast, reliable- choose any two.
Posted by New_Londoner over 5 years ago
BAsed on figures from various reports, average download speeds in the various countries nornmally mentioned as far better than the UK are in fact well within the scope of what FTTC can deliver (IIRC < 20Mbps).

Anyway, hardly a shock that a body dominated by kit manufacturers think we should buy a lot of their stff! I'[m assuming they're not offering to donate it for nothing?
Posted by Legolash2o over 5 years ago
I think FTTC would be the best option and as GMAN said... if anyone wants FTTP then they can pay for it themselves.
Posted by AndrueC over 5 years ago
An even bigger question - do we really need the speeds of FTTH? FTTC probably gives most people as much as they will need for at least the next decade. The theoretical document from Ofcom to my mind made FTTP utterly pointless for the forseable future.

Of course the gap between theory and practice is always there but it still suggested to me that BT may have the right idea. There's more to come from FTTC.
Posted by tommy45 over 5 years ago
@GMAN99: the price of having FTTP installed will be paramount i would think, Then having all you can eat & a unhindered data flow will be the next,
Posted by creakycopperline over 5 years ago
gmann go brown nose BT openreach somewhere else. it's obscene, fanboy lackey
Posted by Michael_Chare over 5 years ago
The big advantage of FTTP is that you get the same speed regardless of distance from the exchange/cabinet. Depending on the price I will order it as soon as it is available. I am delighted to see that it gets mentioned more and more.
Posted by fibrebunny over 5 years ago
The BT FTTH offering is an exciting prospect. For me it will depend upon how ISP's handle it and who will offer such a service.

I would certainly see it as an investment, not sure what if any impact it would have on property value. But it might well make for a nice added feature when selling.
Posted by chrysalis over 5 years ago
a tad misleading andrew to suggest VM matches FTTH, VMs top tier is only 10mbit upload (currently unavailable in various areas, now 5mbit temporarily) and top tier download is 100mbit, whilst FTTH in sweden can net you a full duplex gigabit connection.
Posted by whatever2 over 5 years ago
If unsure about CityFibre, could you just ask them? At least what numbers in what postcodes?

I doubt they'll deliver a service before BT get in and install FTTP, which is due across Bournemouth and Poole at the end of the year. After that they'll vanish I expect, if they ever actually existed beyond paper.
Posted by audioslim over 5 years ago
As far as I'm concerned , paying something like 12 quid a month for piece of old and decaying copper wire into the house should give us the right to demand that cable be upgraded to something more suitable as and when is neccessary.
Fibre to homes should be the only method of connection with a scheme to replace everything in the country.
Its about time line rental started to be off some value to a consumer.

Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 5 years ago
Even if they started now, with a team of 10,000 engineers, it would take five years to hook the 26,000,000 properties up.

Estimates of 7 hours per property (based on Openreach data) and one installer per property.

Then add the actual network in the street, and you get an idea of the scale.
Posted by audioslim over 5 years ago
Got to start some time or do we all expect to be still on copper in twenty years time. I for one dont in the slightest.
I expect to have a fibre connection much before then to all homes.

But my point is together the population of this country pay far more in line rental that any costs to keep it going. That money should be getting re-invested to a certain extent to provide improvements for the line itself, but it isnt.

Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 5 years ago
Openreach has started, and other firms are doing fibre so it has started.

BTW where do you think Openreach got the £2.5bn for its FTTC/FTTP rollout?
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